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AMD workstation market share plunges

Pressure on to get 'Barcelona' out

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Intel has recaptured all the market share it lost to AMD last year during the two rival chip makers' battle for supremacy in the Windows workstation arena, the latest market stats show.

According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), AMD's share of the two-socket workstation market slid to just eight per cent during Q1 2007, leaving Intel with a commanding 92 per cent share. Contrast that with the Q1 2006 when AMD's share had almost doubled two quarters to 12.4 per cent.

AMD's market share went on to hit 13.3 per cent, leading many observers to claim the company had at long last got its arch-rival on the run, its Opteron processor finally winning the support Intel's Xeon chip had for so long enjoyed.

Not any more, it seems. While AMD's share fell to 10.9 per cent in Q3 2006, it rallied slightly in Q4, rising to 11.1 per cent, suggesting a short-term decline rather than a systematic plunge. Q1's market drop, however, leaves the company with plenty of lost ground to reclaim.

Include all the single-socket Windows workstations and AMD's share fell from a peak of 3.6 per cent in Q2 2006 to two per cent in Q1 2007.

JPR said some 674,000 dual-socket Windows workstations were sold in Q1, so it's not exactly a colossal market. However, despite over unit sales and shipments rising by, respectively, 15 per cent and 15.2 per cent between Q1 2006 and Q1 2007, shipments of AMD-based workstations were down 24.1 per cent, from 71,040 to 53,920 units.

As JPR researcher Alex Herrera noted, the pressure is now on AMD to get its next-gen quad-core Opeteron chip, 'Barcelona', out the door and prove it's a faster number-cruncher than the latest Xeons.

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